Posted by: eventer4life | April 15, 2011

March 2011 Galway Downs CIC & HT

A little (lot) late, here’s my recap of the March 2011 Galway Downs CIC and Horse Trials!

I ended up going Training level instead of Prelim on Dru since earlier that week he was acting like he was considering blowing an abscess out. He had a few days off to see, and ended up being fine but we didn’t want me to have to go run my first Prelim on a couple days off!

On Monday night, one of the other working students and I drove down to Galway to set up stalls. We spent a couple hours spreading shavings, putting water buckets in, hanging stall guards, etc.

On Tuesday, I took a horse up to 3 Day Ranch for someone else to school and dropped Dru off on the way. By the time I got back to Galway with the other horse, the rest of the horses had gotten to Galway. We unpacked the trailer and got everything organized and put together. It took a while but looked amazing, our barn aisle has got to be the best looking in Area 6 (:

I gave Dru Tuesday off, but gave him a long hand walk to keep him moving around and keep him from getting stiff and stocked up. He is the best horse to handwalk (ok…2nd best. I have an extra super favorite pony…who’s perfect in every way.), even on multiple days off he’ll walk around with the lead rope over his neck, just following me everywhere. Gotta love him.

Wednesday I took him for a long tackwalk around Galway. We didn’t want to push him! He was super well behaved and only mildly spooky (and spooky in the Warmblood-y way-high blow and walk bigger ❤ )

Thursday I rode him for real! He was super good! Perfect, really! I was excited and ready to go out and do well in our final Training level! Thursday was also jogs for the CICs at Galway. We had 5 horses in the barn (3 ridden by my trainer) in FEI events, so we had some pressure on Thursday to get them all looking perfect! And they did. (especially the 3* horse that I got control of…he looked freaking fantastic, if I say so myself…). All of our horses passed jogs with no problems!

Friday was dressage for horse trial horses, and dressage and show jump for FEI. So another stressful day! FEI dressage was in the morning, so it was quite an early morning! But of course, all our horses looked amazing and did quite well. Show jumping also went very well, better than dressage! I was lucky enough to watch almost all of the 3* show jumping, and there were some amazing horses (mine being the best of course…haha.)! I was so happy to get a chance to watch it. Then was my dressage! I got into warm up and heard I only had 1 horse before I went. Not sure what happened there, but it ended up fine. I had a GREAT warmup, but ended up being quite conservative (bad brigit!) in my test which ended up giving me a lotttt of 6s. I also had a lovely moment of trotting across the diagonal in a pretty dang good lengthening and then….realizing I had absolutely no idea where to go! This is why after you spend 2 weeks perfecting Prelim A you MUST at least look over Training A…I had a moment of “clarity” and walked…before realizing I had to be doing a stretch trot. I picked that up and it was somewhat awful :/ Oh well! That + an error + how much worse I got after that=not my best test (although I still would have scored better than 3 day if I hadn’t had the error). I scored a 35.something which put me in 6th? I think. Funny story. A girl came up to me after my test and said that my test was GORGEOUS, and she had felt so good about her test until she saw mine. Well…she beat me and ended up in first. Haha.

Saturday was the best day of the weekend for everyone but me! Training went cross country on Sunday while everyone else went Saturday :(. But it was worth it to not have to worry about walking my course while watching the upper levels! I spent most of the day either in the vet box or tacking up. All of our horses were freaking FANTASTIC on Saturday!!! I show jumped on Saturday, and had a moment of panic walking down to the ring when I realized a) I didn’t walk my course! and b) I wouldn’t have time to warm up. Poor planning on my part, but luckily it worked out in the end. The Training level course was the same as the 3* course, so after a quick reminder I was able to canter on in and jump around double clean! That moved me up (I think) to 4th.

Saturday night was significantly less stressful than any other FEI event has ever been, since the event was over! Horses were all iced, wrapped, and SOUND but there was no pressure of jogs in the morning, which was a nice change (:

I “walked” my course on Saturday night (our course walk was in a golf cart..), and then went out Sunday morning. Again I didn’t get a chance to warm up but although I was kicking Dru off the ground for a few fences, it went amazing! Everything looked incredibly small and simple and rode that way as well. While I do wish I could have gone Prelim, I now know for sure I need to move up on this horse! It’s too easy! I (easily) went double clean, and was one of the fastest in my division after cantering-in-place the last few fences to avoid time faults (: Can’t wait to move up!

I finished in 3rd on my dressage score, and won a gorgeous leather halter (: Thank you Sonoma Saddlery!

My next event is Twin Rivers next weekend. Dru has had a few days off lately (he really did abscess…luckily he waited until after Galway!), so rather than taking him I will be taking Dawkins Novice. I flatted him the last two days, jumped him today, and am taking him schooling tomorrow! He has been EXTREMELY good, so hopefully this will go well!

Thanks for reading!

Posted by: eventer4life | March 21, 2011

The Event at 3 Day Ranch

This weekend was the Event at 3 Day Ranch in Aguanga, CA. I competed Training level on Dru! 3 Day is not too far from us, so our horses were stabled there and we drove back and forth which was awful at times but kinda nice to be able to go home and shower (:

Thursday and Friday I had flat lessons. Dru was unbelievable both days! We spent a lot of time really improving his canter and it got GREAT!!!

On Saturday morning, I got to 3 Day around 7 am (originally we had planned to be there at 6…but passed two turns and went 30 miles out of our way…whoops!) and walked my show jump course! It didn’t look bad (:

Saturday I rode dressage at 8 am (ish). I had a really good warmup. My test wasn’t quite as good but still decent! I got a 35.5 and was in 3rd in my division. All of the comments were that his neck was too short and he needed to stretch more and get his nose farther from his chest. That’s the normal problem we have, so I wasn’t surprised. At least nothing changed too drastically in the ring!

I show jumped at around 11. I went down and checked in to find out that I had 1 horse before me and then I had to go in…cue panic! I was a little panicky in the ring and couldn’t really see a distance, (and I ALWAYS kick for the long if I can’t see a distance…major problem). There were a few times that he should  NOT have jumped but he did…he’s amazing (: I got my act together for the last half of the course though, and we jumped double clear! He was a little up for show jumping, again I think he was looking around for going out on cross country. It definitely didn’t help that Intermediate was starting and finishing right next to the show jump ring!

I spent the rest of Saturday getting horses ready. My trainer had 7 horses going! And the 2 training horses went twice! So it was a bit of a crazy day but we pulled it off (:

I checked my scores at the end of the day (no cell service at 3 day= no startbox live scores!!!) and saw I was in 2nd after show jumping by a little more than a point. I wanted one of the first place coolers so bad so secretly I was hoping the person in 1st would have some time….(:

I walked my course Saturday night and it didn’t look bad at all! There was a half coffin, a one stride line of houses out of the water, some brush-y steeplechase fences…nothing too tricky! I walked it by myself (some confusion on my part about where the course walk was meeting meant that I missed it), and was hoping that I wasn’t missing anything! Luckily my trainer did tell me a couple things that I should be careful about on course, and then I ran the course with the assistant trainer at 6:40 Sunday morning. (Yes, I do mean ran…). I got on for my 9 am ride and had a good warm up! I finally figured out how to get him moving his feet quicker and we had some really nice jumps in warm up. I went out aiming to go fast (I set my watch for speed fault time so I’d get a better feel for Prelim speed and bringing him back for the fences) and clean! He went around AMAZINGLY! We went out of the box a little slower than I was planning on going to keep him settled since he’s still looking for the blue numbers (: And then we sped up and it was so fun! We had a bit of a hard time making a sharp-ish right hand turn from the trakehner to the half coffin, so I think I might need some more bit for Prelim, but he was great! He just knows his job so well that he wants to take over sometimes and gets a little strong in a loose ring snaffle (: . He took a look at the wine barrel jump (which I was warned almost every horse stops at!) but of course jumped it (: . Everything went so well!!! It was so much fun (: We finished in 2nd place, which meant I won brushing boots instead of a cooler ): But of course I’m still thrilled with how it went!

Dawkins was also a superstar this weekend! He went Training and was fantastic on the flat, getting a 25!!! The division was so incredibly competitive on the flat that he was tied for 2nd! He show jumped double clean and then went out on cross country double clean to finish in 2nd by .9 points! He won’t be going to Galway since there’s so many horses going, but I can’t wait to see how well he continues to do with more time!

Overall it was a great weekend at 3 Day Ranch! Margie runs a great event (:

Now on to Galway…my first Prelim!

Thanks for reading (:

Posted by: eventer4life | March 14, 2011

Twin Rivers Video!

Here’s the video from my show jumping and cross country at Twin.

Thanks for reading! (:

Posted by: eventer4life | March 11, 2011

Twin Rivers Horse Trials!

Hey guys!

So obviously it’s been a while since I last wrote anything on here! But I’m back and I’ll attempt to keep up on this for a while…hopefully there’s still a couple who remember me 🙂

Quick update-I went to my barn in Seattle February 5th, had some great lessons with my trainer there, jumped some awesome 3’6″ courses with my perfect pony, and then drove down to California March 2nd (I think?). We drove 20 hours straight, leaving at 3 am! I’ve never driven that far in one go but it actually wasn’t too bad and made the 7 hour drive from the show down to the barn I’ll be at for the near future much more manageable (:

As I mentioned, we went down for the first show of the season and my first show with Dru! At Twin Rivers Ranch in Paso Robles, CA (: I had never been there before and, as with every other facility I’ve been to in California so far, found it gorgeous and absolutely loved it and the course (: I just went Novice since it was my first show with Dru and his first show since he won the CIC* at Twin in September 2009! As you can imagine, he was pretty pumped to be out again!

We got to Paso at 11 pm ish on Wednesday night, then I rode Dru on the flat the next morning. He was really good! A little up considering the rings are out in the xc field, pretty much, but good! It was my first “lesson” with my new trainer and it went really well! I gave him a bath and put him away, then spent the rest of the day helping my trainer. On Friday I rode dressage in the morning. I realized as I was braiding that I had kind of forgotten to braid over the winter…whoops…They ended up looking alright overall but I was a little embarrassed and glad I only had to braid my own horse and none of my trainers!

I got on to warm up, and found out the ring my trainer was riding Dawkins in was running really far behind so she wouldn’t be able to get over in time to help me (or if she could it would be 5 minutes of warm up). Luckily my trainer from Seattle flew down for the event so she came to my rescue and warmed me up (: For the first time ever I wasn’t horribly nervous in dressage warm up. I had a pretty good warm up and went into the ring and managed to pretty much stay the same, for the first time ever!!! Dru was steady and calm in the test. My only gigantic horrible mistake was I picked up the wrong lead once…I felt so stupid for that!!! And then I managed to memorize the test wrong and halt at X instead of G. After I halted the judge said to me “You halted early…it was supposed to be at G. Luckily you got an 8 on it. Well done.” I felt like a bit of an idiot but still walked out of the ring happy with myself and Dru! And with another first time ever moment, my trainer came up to me and said it was really good and gave me a high 5. That’s a first coming out of dressage!!!

I found out later i had gotten a 32.6 (with the error, so a 30.6 if i hadn’t been an idiot). That had me tied for 3rd in a division of 22! The test was quite complimentary of Dru and myself too…we even got a 9! And some really nice comments (:

I speed walked my cross country and show jump courses on Friday night…both looked more than manageable and quite small…I liked that feeling haha (: XC looked quite open and straightforward…a half coffin, a few bending lines, 2 water crossings…all simple though. I had issues memorizing my show jump course for some reason, but it didn’t look tricky in the slightest! Just couldn’t get it in my brain!

On Saturday I show jumped in the morning. My warm up was a little crazy! Again I was warmed up by my trainer from Seattle which was actually really nice…since she knows Dru and I really well (: Dru was SO crazy (for him) in warm up! Show jump warm up is basically IN cross country and Dru was looking for the start box! He was leaping around and chucking his head around and DID NOT want to trot. I spent like half an hour walking around the warm up trying to calm him down. He got really manageable in his craziness after a while though. He wasn’t being bad, just excited to be out again! We went into the ring and he behaved himself! He was definitely eyeing the cross country jumps outside the ring but jumped everything fine. We left out a stride to the final oxer but cleared it fine of course (: He was so confused when I untacked him after that…did not understand why we weren’t going out to the startbox!

After show jumping we were tied for 2nd!

Cross country was Sunday morning (I got so lucky to be able to ride early every day…my 3 day times are early too which I’m happy about!). Dru was MUCH calmer in warm up Sunday than he was Saturday. I was so excited to go out…which has never happened before! I was about to go out and realized that this was the first time I had ever not felt like I was going to throw up or pass out in warm up haha.

I had planned to go out on course slow and try to break the tie but ended up just having fun and letting him gallop however he wanted…which ended up being quite fast! I’ve never ridden a horse that can gallop like he can!

He was SO happy to be out that I basically just stayed in two point and he galloped and jumped anything I pointed him at. He was always looking for what the “real” question was, and by the end of the course wouldn’t even come back very easily for the 4 stride bending houses because he thought it was too simple to need to slow down…which of course it was for him! I looked at my watch at where we guessed halfway was (I don’t wheel courses at N/T…probably won’t for anything except FEI and maybe I/A if I ever get there!) and I was at 3:15 when I should have been at 2…whoops! I slowed down a lot there but let him gallop again a little while after (: I was just having too much fun and so was he! We were about a minute too fast 2 jumps from home so I MAJORLY slowed down and basically cantered in place over the last couple fences and finished right at 4 minutes…speed fault time 😛 So we just barely went double clear! I was expecting to get 3rd (or have gotten speed faults and dropped down) but the girl I was tied with had a stop so I finished in second (:

It was seriously the most fun I’ve had yet on cross country…I can’t even begin to imagine how much fun this horse will be at Preliminary if he’s this much fun at Novice! I’m so excited for the rest of the show season and so happy that I’m lucky enough to get to ride him!!!

My next event is in a week at 3 Day Ranch, we’re going Training! (oh…side note! Apparently my CA trainer was like…they’re moving up right?? This is way too easy for both of them! :D) I had my first real lesson on the flat down here yesterday and well…my flat is going to be a thousand times better soon! I never realized how incorrect I am!

So anyways, Twin was an awesome event!!! I’ll try to update later with pictures and video if I can dig any up (:
Thanks for reading!!!

Posted by: eventer4life | January 14, 2011

Ecogold boots!!!

I’m so excited, I ordered them right after Christmas and they’re hereeeee!!! I’m so excited to try them out on my horses, I hope they fit!!!

I’m just super excited and wanted to put this up 🙂 Once I try them on my horses and use them I’m sure I’ll put something more up about them 🙂

Sooooo excited to not use my Eskadrons anymore!!

Thanks for reading!

Posted by: eventer4life | January 3, 2011

Eventing Nation

I just wanted to quickly link to a post on eventing nation from a little while ago!! I absolutely love eventing nation, I check it every morning and whenever there’s a big event or something going on it’s the first place I check!! They have some GREAT guest posts too, like this one by Hannah Burnett:
Every rider needs to do this!!! I know I will be…
I love eventing nation!!!

Posted by: eventer4life | December 31, 2010


Let’s hope 2011 is a great one!

Happy New Year from

Brigit, Dru, and Dawkins ❤

Thanks for reading!

(this was laid out better and was scheduled to post at 12:01 am. FAIL)

Posted by: eventer4life | December 21, 2010

Blog theme?

I’m messing around with it because I want to change my header to a picture of one of my horses! And none of the headers are working for me…I think I’m gonna leave it like this just because I’m going to go crazy!!

Any comments/ideas on what themes might work for me? I know Grey Brook Eventing (on blogspot, not wordpress) can have a full picture as her header…any themes anyone knows of on wordpress like that?

And now my favorite picture of Dawkins ever :] I got it framed 8 x 10 and it will be hanging on my wall!! I love it so much!!


Gorgeous boy ❤ On XC at Galway...he loves his job!



Posted by: eventer4life | December 21, 2010

2011 Goals

Hi everyone!

So, I wanted to put some goals up for 2011 :] I’m not going to do any competition level related goals, just because it’s all so up in the air what I’ll be doing…I have no idea so I don’t want to guess and have my possibly very wrong guesses recorded forever on the internet :p

So, my un-level related goals are:

-Post on a regular basis, even if it’s just 2 sentences at the end of every day! I want to aim for at least 3 posts a week, I’ll try for 6-7 though :] They might be short but I’ll try!

-Perfect my braiding skills!

-Reduce my braiding time for 1 1/2 hours to…30 minutes maybe?

-Improve my dressage overall

-Stay present at competitions, so that my riding can stay near the level it is at home

-Start riding Dawkins again, even if it’s just a few lessons at the end of the year

-Stop relying so much on my hand

-Keep my rhythm to the base of fences

-Stop panicking and pulling back on the approach to fences


-Get more video/pictures of my riding…even if I just see if I can buy more show videos 😛

-Break in my dressage saddle? haha

I might be updating these, but yeah! Those are my goals for next year :] Hopefully by this time next year I’ll be able to say that I followed through on all of these goals, and at least tried to complete everything even if I couldn’t.

I’m not going to continue posting much until i’m back with my horses and actually have something horse related to say…

Since I’ve done a year recap and goals, without actually seeing my horses I might start getting repetitive and boring 🙂 Although I did just organize my tack trunk…

Other than my release (which on JMR on Facebook, I was told my release is this way because my leg is so solid I've stopped relying on my hand and need to drop down to an auto release...) possibly the best picture of my eq yet!

Thanks for reading!

Posted by: eventer4life | December 19, 2010

2010 is (almost) over

Wow, it’s hard to believe there’s only 12 days left over 2010!

I still haven’t ridden my horses, and I’m still at home, but I wanted to write an “end of the year” post…before I forgot 🙂

So, this year has been an interesting year. I bought my first real event horse, I went to my first recognized event (that I finished, at least…I did one Novice last year with a different horse but we retired after the first XC fence…long story lol), competed my first “real” Training, rode at more shows this year than I’ve ridden at in probably my whole life combined, leased another unbelievable horse, trained with an Olympian, learned some amazing grooming tricks and just grooming…things (QUARTER MARKS!!!), went to my first out of area show, jumped my first Prelim XC jumps on both horses, and had the most amazing working student job ever!

This was definitely a more horse filled year than I’ve ever had before. I learned more than I ever imagined I could learn in just a few months.

I now know how to braid about 6 different ways, I know how to do quarter marks, I know how to drive a golf cart with a horse trotting alongside (lol…best thing ever), I can (kind of) drive a horse trailer, I can tack up a horse in 5 minutes and have him clean and actually decent looking, I can (sort of) clip a tail, I can pull a mane well (I used to do a reallyyyy bad job), plus about a million other things. I just know horses better. There’s a lot to be said for having the opportunity to ride 4-6 different horses every day. Although I still don’t do unbelievably well at shows, at home I think I’m a lot better at adjusting myself to the horse. I can now ride 6 different horses reasonably well (for the level I’m at…like I pretty much ride all horses at the same level I ride my own instead of dropping back a lot like I used to).

And of course there’s the experiences I got to have. I mean, I got to go pick up some of the 18 East Coast horses with Hawley at Montana and I sat next to Karen O’Conner in the back of Hawley’s truck…ummmm yeah I was freaking excited about that, not gonna lie! I got to ride a former 4* horse who taught me sosososo much. I rode in a few clinics with Buck Davidson and I think he actually remembers me now 🙂 Because of Dawkins probably, but hey, I’ll take it 🙂

Riding wise, I finally conquered my fear (I think…I hope) of trakehners at a 3 Day Ranch schooling on Dru. I jumped 2 corners on a 3 stride line without completely panicking and falling apart! My leg got SO much stronger and steadier that by Galway…I think my eq was looking pretty dang good! For me, at least 😛 For the first time I kept a steady rhythm through a show jump course at a show. I figured out how to keep myself from seeing a long spot, panicking, and kicking for the long and then completely screwing my horse up (thanks to Hawley!!!).

There’s so much more that I could say…this was the best year yet 🙂 Although my showing didn’t go quite as I had hoped, I think that having a trainer next year should help me out a little…and who cares about showing when you’ve learned more than you had ever imagined!!!

I can’t thank the people who helped me out this year enough :] Thank you for making this year the best year yet!!!

Hopefully 2011 will be just as great or even better!!

(I’m going to write a goals post soon :] )

Thanks again, and Merry Christmas everyone!!!

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